Quick App Review: Mezzoman Brings People Together...Literally 7
I just tested a review copy of Mezzoman (available in the App Catalog), which is designed to help two (or three) people "meet in the middle."On the whole, it seems to be a simple and useful app, although it has some limitations that are worth knowing about.
The essence of Mezzoman is very simple: the user puts in his own address (or uses current GPS coordinates, requiring location services to be turned on), and one or two (for the paid version) other addresses, enters a search term (I tried two searches, "kosher" and "bowling," since the program is not limited to food genres), selects a search results radius (apparently in miles, although it does not specify units), chooses from either review site Yelp or Google as a search tool, and hits the big "Mezzoman Go!" button at the bottom of the screen. The Mezzoman client will search for businesses meeting the search criteria in the radius around the midpoint between the two addresses.
(Note: I reviewed a beta of version 0.5.8; the current free and paid versions in the App Catalog are at 0.5.5, and works in the US, Canada, Ireland and the UK ONLY." According to Marc Zider of Mezzoman, searches of European countries via Google and a Europe-only version of the program are coming in the near future.)
According to the description on the App Catalog, the midpoint is not the exact geographic one but based upon roads, so that "your midpoint will always be in an area accessible to you." A few seconds watching an animated Mezzoman icon, and the search results are displayed in a list. Tapping on a list entry brings up choices including "Yelp Reviews" (if you used the Yelp search choice), "See On Map," "Call This Business" and "Email to A Friend" (available only for the paid version), each of which launches the appropriate webOS application. The "Email to A Friend" uses the name of the location as the Subject, and puts the address, telephone and "Found using Mezzoman!" as the body of the message.
Mezzoman is not only a webOS application; it also has a Web-based version (found here), but it does not offer the same feature set (selection between Yelp and Google; more than two addresses) of the webOS versions. (I did note one issue on both webOS and Web-based Mezzoman programs: neither was able to parse my work address, which is on a fairly recently named street, so the map data on which Mezzoman depends may not yet have that address.) You are also dependent on how the particular business was indexed; for some reason, a search for "kosher" using Yelp turned up a Jewish funeral home! One final issue: if you don't add an address, it doesn't show as blank but an italicized example, which won't affect your search but can confuse the user (as in this screen shot which makes it seem like I want a midpoint between two Manhattan zip codes and Los Angeles, CA):
The app is quite affordable (even the paid version is only 99 cents in the U.S.), and while I wasn't able to exhaustively test its navigation prowess (i.e. whether the midpoint is truly equally driveable from both locations), it seems to be a useful addition to your Pre if you find yourself getting together with family members, friends or colleagues in different locations and wanting to find a place that's equally close to (or far from) all.